Icecats: Player sect seeks new status as club sport

2011-04-13T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:45:29Z Icecats: Player sect seeks new status as club sportPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 13, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Arizona's hockey team is in discussions with the school to become a more traditional on-campus club, which would eliminate the team's Icecats moniker - and perhaps coach Leo Golembiewski - after 32 years of existence.

Five Icecats players met with on-campus officials last month to explore becoming a club, rather than one run by Golembiewski's non-profit organization.

Sophomore Brian Slugocki said players "asked for help" from the UA Department of Campus Recreation to become a club, and "they're making sure that we are a club sport." He declined to comment on matters specific to Golembiewski.

Clubs, administered by campus recreation, mandate that students become officers responsible for operation.

Slugocki, who calls himself president of the Arizona Wildcats club hockey team, has fielded phone calls from recruits and has started an Arizona hockey web page. The Icecats page has been shut down.

Golembiewski, who founded the team in 1979 and owns the trademark on the Icecats name, said that, "under legal advisement, I maintain no comment due to pending legal action."

Slugocki stressed any UA announcement would not come until next week at the earliest and that final details were not "certain yet."

Mary O'Mahoney, campus recreation's assistant director for sport clubs and camps, declined comment. Frank Farias, the UA's associate vice president for student affairs, did not return messages left on consecutive days.

As a formal club, students could hire their next coach and run the team's budget, as well as other administrative matters.

Golembiewski, who collected a salary the past few years, served those roles for the Icecats.

Like the Icecats, the proposed club team plans to play at the Tucson Convention Center and as a Division I team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, which Golembiewski helped found in 1991. Slugocki said he was "pretty sure" the proposed team could sell beer at games, with a special agreement with the city of Tucson.

The coach has won 634 games and a 1984-85 national title for the Icecats, which he operated under an outside entity, a non-profit organization, under a deal with the UA.

Neither the Icecats nor any club team is under the purview of the UA's athletic department.

"The university has much more involvement (now) than they ever had with the program," Slugocki said.

Dave Dougall, the team's faculty adviser and a former assistant coach, said he had yet to hear a verdict.

"I know they would like the program to operate under campus rec," he said.

He said he volunteered to help with a transition, if the new club is formed.

"It's been very hard to deal with," he said, "not knowing exactly what's going on and what direction they're going in, and how it affects you."

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